Moderation Issues (6)

Please use this thread for (and only for) alerting admins to moderation issues and for raising complaints arising from particular decisions. We remind participants that TSZ is a benign dictatorship, the property of Dr. Elizabeth Liddle. All decisions regarding policy and implementation are hers alone.

1,457 thoughts on “Moderation Issues (6)

  1. walto,

    I have the best ideas!!

    Yes, rate-limiting was a much better idea than singling J-Mac out, as Alan and Neil did, and it’s much better than demoting everyone to Contributor status, as explained above.

    And here’s Alan a year and a half ago, affirming that he doesn’t like the idea of demoting everyone to Contributor:

    It’s technically simple to change member’s status so that everyone is a contributor. And admins could then control whose posts appear and when. Frankly, I don’t want that.

    Neither do I, Alan.

    He also wrote:

    Much simpler to suggest a guideline and consider removing automatic posting rights from a member who is abusing the system.

    Bingo. That’s exactly what the rate-limit proposal does.

  2. Alan, from that same comment:

    Most regulars are new authors, and it is currently available on request to any contributor who wishes to contribute regularly. Then we have “author” category, which allows post-editing. As it also allows editing and deleting of comments this category is available to regular members who specifically agree not to delete/edit comments.

    I wish to contribute regularly, and I specifically agree not to delete or edit comments. Go ahead and change me to “Author”, Alan.

  3. keiths,

    I think you should not contribute any serious content to this site until some changes are made, and until the site realizes that it is the contributors, not the administrators that cause a site such as this to exist. Without contributors the site is useless.

    Presently its 90% useless.

    I think J Mac, Mung, FMM, Bill, Gregory, Erik, R. Byers, and I should do the same.

    Sal too for that matter, although he doesn’t seem to mind being here as a pinata.

    Let Alan have the site he wants, him talking to Omagain and Allan, and let Lizzie pay for that site.

  4. phoodoo,

    Presently its 90% useless.

    Alan, Neil and Jock are pretty useless, and their moderation abuses are a huge liability for the site, but I don’t think the site itself is 90% useless. Far from it.

    TSZ is valuable despite those guys, and it’s worth defending against them.

    Alan would love to silence his critics or see them leave. Don’t give him that satisfaction.

  5. phoodoo,

    I think that everyone, including you if you’re still a Contributor, and J-Mac, should take Alan up on his 2017 offer.

    It isn’t a concession to Alan at all. Authors have always been required not to delete or edit comments. That originated with Lizzie, not with Alan.

  6. keiths,
    Right now, the only content posted on this site as of late is from you and FMM going back and forth.

    There is nothing scientific, interesting or informative going on. Just two people giving their opinion about religion. Not a single thing to be learned.

    The site doesn’t deserve content. Let Alan talk to Allan about the weather in France. As far as I am concerned, you just allow Alan to continue to abuse the site, by providing any content at all. There should be a boycott until Lizzie realizes her experiment is failing in Alan’s and Neil and Jocks hands.

  7. phoodoo: I think you should not contribute any serious content to this site until some changes are made, and until the site realizes that it is the contributors, not the administrators that cause a site such as this to exist. Without contributors the site is useless.

    Wow, the nuclear option , you will deprive the site of keiths’ content until your demands are met or she will come out ahead financially.

    phoodoo: I think J Mac, Mung, FMM, Bill, Gregory, Erik, R. Byers, and I should do the same.

    Not Byers too!!

    You are cruel ,Phoodoo.

  8. phoodoo: There is nothing scientific, interesting or informative going on. Just two people giving their opinion about religion. Not a single thing to be learned.

    It is the human dynamic, the search for the white whale, the melody of Picasso’s Mandolin, the quest for the Holy Grail, not a single thing to be learned?

  9. phoodoo,

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. I think the thing to do right now is to stay and defend TSZ, not to abandon it.

  10. keiths: I wish to contribute regularly, and I specifically agree not to delete or edit comments. Go ahead and change me to “Author”, Alan.

    I’ve no problem with that, subject to caveats (strict adherence to the rules on defamation, personal attacks, I think I mentioned this to you in an email previously). I’ll run it by the other admins.

  11. PS @ keiths, there’s a recent draft OP authored by you. Judging by the title, that would fall foul of the rule on personal attacks.

  12. phoodoo,

    Yes, I agree. Lizzie has provided the field of dreams. We keep it mowed and rolled, but if there are not enough players, the game is not going to be much fun to watch.

  13. phoodoo:
    keiths,
    Right now, the only content posted on this site as of late is from you and FMM going back and forth.

    Sure, let’s have yet another chat about fitness instead. Now that’s content.

    The site doesn’t deserve content.Let Alan talk to Allan about the weather in France.

    Let phoodoo bleat incessantly about moderation.

    There should be a boycott until Lizzie realizes her experiment is failing in Alan’s and Neil and Jocks hands.

    Yes! A boycott! I’m right behind you! You go ahead, I’m just going to go and … um … grab some stuff …

  14. I wonder why phoodoo and J-Mac don’t simply start their own sites if it’s so terrible here.

    If you are poor I can contribute?

  15. phoodoo: Let Alan have the site he wants, him talking to Omagain and Allan, and let Lizzie pay for that site.

    Sure. When will you start your own blog justifying the cruelties of life as “learning opportunities” and shutting down anyone who differs with your “whipped cream” line?

  16. I think that this site needs theist input when it comes to moderating.
    To balance the inevitable bias that comes from lack of diverisity.

    If theists are excluded or if they are treated as tokens with no real authority then the site will experience atrophy and eventually it will just be one more place to see angry atheists talking to themselves

    That is my 2 cents

    peace

  17. Alan Fox: I’ve no problem with that, subject to caveats (strict adherence to the rules on defamation, personal attacks, I think I mentioned this to you in an email previously). I’ll run it by the other admins.

    Now if you could just get the admins to follow the rules about defamation.

    You seem to have selective defamation avoidance syndrome. Its Ok as long as it is defaming a theist.

  18. phoodoo: You seem to have selective defamation avoidance syndrome. Its Ok as long as it is defaming a theist.

    This is an excellent demonstration of phoodoo’s selective memory syndrome.
    In the history of TSZ, a poster has been suspended for defamation on one occasion.
    Tell me phoodoo, was the target of this alleged defamation a theist, or not?

    I suspect I’ve been more insulting about CRD, PZM, and JCV than about any theist, but I doubt phoodoo notices those barbs.

    phoodoo’s problem is that he does not understand the different threshold that is applied, depending on whether the target is a commenter here. Neither does he understand the “honest opinion” defense.

  19. DNA_Jock on December 26, 2018 at 4:10 pm said:
    Kantian Naturalist,

    Last section (13th December 2015), immediately before the comments.
    DNA_Jock on December 26, 2018 at 8:11 pm said:

    J-Mac,
    The ignore button is provided as a service for those flowers too delicate to scroll past comments they dislike. Its existence is antithetical to the goals of the site, but it is pragmatically provided to provide a quantum of solace to the easily offended. Announcing your intention to ignore a commenter is doubly antithetical, but (as I noted previously) does provide a shibboleth of sorts. Heh.
    I guess your “Good bye!” ‘s could be merely serial attempted flounces. I’m not sure that makes them any more mature, but were you to succeed in sticking the landing, then I admit I would not deem them guano-worthy. If only because “I am leaving” would be considered content, were you able to keep your word.
    I thought that the post I guano’ed was rule-breaking, given the context.
    timothya had explained to you multiple ways in which you were factually incorrect, but ended with the Jefferson quote that upset you. You responded
    Einstein called it “spooky”. He was wrong…I’m not going to ridicule you… You would have understand something first…
    which had just enough content to avoid guano, IMO.
    timothya asked
    What has this to do with your assertions about Jerry Coyne?
    Your “Oh boy! I have no time to read the comments for you and explain…Good bye!” had zero content & addresses the poster.

    Wow. What a scholastic you are, Jock! First you’ve got your gospel, arranged apparently by dates of The Master’s utterance, and then are quite willing to spend whatever time and energy it takes to count angels on a sacred pin to interpret it.

    IMHO, you’d have given Duns Scotus and the gang a run for their money!

    I’ve sort of noticed famous historical precedents for your colleagues as well. If they make paradigm posts, I’ll mention them.

    This comment is not meant, btw, as an attack. This forum demonstrates quite clearly that it’s a completely thankless job (unless one perversely enjoys a certain type of attention). So, thanks.

  20. phoodoo:
    Right now, the only content posted on this site as of late is from you and FMM going back and forth.

    There is nothing scientific, interesting or informative going on.Just two people giving their opinion about religion.Not a single thing to be learned.

    The site doesn’t deserve content.Let Alan talk to Allan about the weather in France.As far as I am concerned, you just allow Alan to continue to abuse the site, by providing any content at all.There should be a boycott until Lizzie realizes her experiment is failing in Alan’s and Neil and Jocks hands.

    Phoodoo,

    The boycotting of TSZ without giving people an alternative is not a reasonable approach…
    Lizzy boycotted UD and started TSZ… Some people followed her, some didn’t…
    You can start your own blog for free here:

    https://wordpress.com/

    I would be glad to post there… You can invite anyone you wish to post or to moderate, just like at TSZ…

    Keep in mind that if I’m right about the ApoB/cholesterol issue, and it looks like I am, there may be a lot of buzz around the blog that FIRST exposes this nonsense, don’t you think? 😉

    It’s an opportunity for anyone that would like to have a blog better than this…
    Sal? CharlieM? FMM? Anyone?

  21. phoodoo: I think you should not contribute any serious content to this site until some changes are made, and until the site realizes that it is the contributors, not the administrators that cause a site such as this to exist. Without contributors the site is useless.

    Presently its 90% useless.

    I think J Mac, Mung, FMM, Bill, Gregory, Erik, R. Byers, and I should do the same.

    Sal too for that matter, although he doesn’t seem to mind being here as a pinata.

    I cannot imagine anything that would do more to improve the quality of discussions here.

  22. Kantian Naturalist: I cannot imagine anything that would do more to improve the quality of discussions here.

    The members named by phoodoo do not contribute any content that I read, and the site is still quite usable for me.

  23. ====================
    Closing Argument:

    It was not that I generically gave someone the ability to post an OP without a moderator appoving it, it was that I specifically did so for J-Mac.

    It was not that I generically gave someone the ability to post an OP without a moderator appoving it, it was that I specifically did so for keiths.

    Both J-Mac and keiths specifically requested that I take that action.

    NOTE: The actual content of the relevant converstations to support these claims has not been entered into evidence, so maybe Im not as great a lawyer as I think. But that evidence does exist. I’ll just say I’m saving it for the civil lawsuit. 😉

    Given that I had already restored keiths’s ability to make comments. Given that Alan voiced his approval of that action. Given that none of the other moderators voiced their disapproval of that action. Given that the action was not overturned by the other moderators. I didn’t think restoring his ability to post an OP would be the issue that it obviously became.

    ====================

    But I think the real issue here was that I was acting independently, taking actions without getting the approval of the other mods. But for the other mods to admit to that is to open up a whole other can of worms.

    But I wasn’t always doing so. For example, I thought Swamidass should have been banned for outing, but I did not go and unilaterally ban him.

    Anyways, I wish everyone well. I still appreciate this site and the opportunity to post here even if my posting an OP now requires moderator approval. Not only was I removed from admin, but I was also changed to Contributor.

  24. Mung,

    “For example, I thought Swamidass should have been banned for outing, but I did not go and unilaterally ban him.”

    Swamidass apologized to the TSZ Moderators, which apparently did not mean Mung, who posts over at PS in a way Swamidass openly doesn’t approve, but has not (yet) banned.

    The rather malleable TSZ Rules state:

    “It is part of the founding philosophy of TSZ that no-one “deserves” to be banned. People are banned for one reason only: to ensure that we don’t get posts containing the very narrow range of material that is not allowed here, namely porn/malware (or links to); and material that gives the RL identity of people known to us by their internet names, without their permission (also known, I understand, as “doxxing”).”

    Swamidass gave my RL identity here, then doxxed me on his site.

    He is forgiven for his personal attacks. Perhaps it is not beyond him that he learned a lesson. If nothing else one lesson to be learned here is that the TSZ Moderators, minus Mung, don’t really administer Lizzie’s rules.

    I have never outed a single soul on the internet & don’t plan to do so. Swamidass has his own sins to account for.

    It’s obvious that the atheist, agnostic & apatheist Moderators at TSZ owe Mung an apology & reinstatement as Author & Moderator.

  25. J-Mac: It’s an opportunity for anyone that would like to have a blog better than this…
    Sal? CharlieM? FMM? Anyone?

    Sorry but I don’t have the time or inclination to have my own blog at the moment.

    Besides, I like it here. I contribute so that I can get feedback from people that have views that oppose mine. I don’t understand why a person should be ignored because they are critical of the poster. I learn the most from my critics and they inspire me to do more research which is easy in this age of the internet. If these posters are insulting then that’s their problem, not mine.

    I would prefer freedom of expression rather than strict moderation. We don’t need to ignore the entire body of comments of another poster, just ignore their insults.

    There is nothing wrong with this blog that can’t be fixed.

  26. Mung,

    Not only was I removed from admin, but I was also changed to Contributor.

    That’s pathetic. What a spiteful child Alan is.

  27. CharlieM:

    I would prefer freedom of expression rather than strict moderation. We don’t need to ignore the entire body of comments of another poster, just ignore their insults.

    Amen.

  28. Mung: But I think the real issue here was that I was acting independently, taking actions without getting the approval of the other mods.

    Given your minority status it’s this that is so troubling.

    What good it is to make a show of diversity if the majority has absolute veto power?

    peace

  29. Gregory: It’s obvious that the atheist, agnostic & apatheist Moderators at TSZ owe Mung an apology & reinstatement as Author & Moderator.

    I have closed the door on the reinstatement as admin/moderator. Reinstatement as Author would also be pointless as I fully intend to depart the site. So while I still have not heard from Elizabeth I am also not waiting to hear from her.

  30. Mung: I fully intend to depart the site.

    Dang.
    Well perhaps this is the best option.
    I had held out hope that things might improve here.
    There are not too many places on the internet where tribalism hasn’t eventually ruled the day.

    It’s truly sad that there is no such thing as a free market place of ideas

    peace

  31. fifthmonarchyman: What good it is to make a show of diversity if the majority has absolute veto power?

    Precisely. Unless rules were in place that we all adhered to. This is what I sent out as a draft to the other admins:

    > significant moderating actions

    Let’s define this.

    1. Any action which would affect the ability of a member to post comments or OPs. This includes both allowing and prohibiting. Examples include changing a role, placing a user in or removing from the moderation queue (Comment Moderation), and banning or un-banning (Comment Blacklist).

    2. Any action which would “disappear” a comment.

    3. Any action which would reverse an action taken by another moderator.

    4. Making changes to the site itself (other than cosmetic). This includes making changes to the Rules page(s) and adding or deleting new top level threads (e.g., Noyau).

    Comments on the above? Too restrictive? Add/Change/Delete anything?

    – Mung

    I think one moderator responded. That was Alan. So good for him. I didn’t think to add a rule about changing the status of another admin. My bad. 🙂

  32. J-Mac: Sal? CharlieM? FMM? Anyone?

    It’s been my experience that I am a lighting rod.

    I try to be a nice and pleasant as I can but I can’t help pissing off those who reject Christianity. When I’m present it’s usually only a matter of time before the insults and vitriol fly. I’m resigned to that of course as that is what I was promised would happen.

    But I don’t want to encourage it and hosting my own blog would only exasperate the problem.

    peace

  33. Mung:

    I have closed the door on the reinstatement as admin/moderator. Reinstatement as Author would also be pointless as I fully intend to depart the site.

    Great. The result of another fuckup by Alan, to which Neil and Jock meekly acquiesced.

  34. fifth,

    But I don’t want to encourage it and hosting my own blog would only exasperate the problem.

    Just a heads up. The word you’re looking for is ‘exacerbate’, not ‘exasperate.’

  35. Mung: But I think the real issue here was that I was acting independently, taking actions without getting the approval of the other mods.

    I also have evidence to support this contention as well. It may not be precisely what led to Alan taking action, but it explains the complicit role of the other mods. Alan should not be shouldering the entire burden of responsibility.

  36. keiths: The word you’re looking for is ‘exacerbate’, not ‘exasperate.’

    Can’t you just give him credit for giving new meaning to an existing word?

  37. Mung,

    Alan should not be shouldering the entire burden of responsibility.

    Right. At the very least, Neil and Jock — the Rubber Stamp Twins — screwed up badly by not objecting to Alan’s abusive action. Worse still if they actually condoned it.

  38. keiths: The result of another fuckup by Alan, to which Neil and Jock meekly acquiesced.

    DNA_Jock is not meek. Just look at the times he’s called me out publicly. 🙂

  39. Mung,

    Can’t you just give him credit for giving new meaning to an existing word?

    If it catches on, I’ll give him credit as an early adopter. 🙂

    For now, it’s an error. From Merriam-Webster:

    “Lest you wish to exasperate your readers, you should take care not to confuse exasperate with the similar-sounding exacerbate, another Latin-derived verb that means “to make worse,” as in ‘Their refusal to ask for help only exacerbated the problem.'”

  40. Gregory: Swamidass gave my RL identity here, then doxxed me on his site.

    I’m pretty sure that your RL identity was already known here from your own postings, which included links to your own published work.

  41. Mung: That could still happen.

    …and it could still happen with your input. There was and still is the chance that matters could be resolved. Admittedly, I don’t know how but feel free to contact me if ever you decide to re-explore. In any event you are always welcome to comment here and indeed contribute OPs. You already know the procedure.

    Stay safe!

    PS, Contributor status is not an insult and not intended to be. Some of our most valued members are contributors.

  42. Gregory: Swamidass gave my RL identity here, then doxxed me on his site.

    Water under the bridge, Gregory. I agree Joshua broke our outing rule. I accept his explanation he was unaware of our rule and I accept his apology and undertaking not to do it again.

    ETA and offending material was redacted.

  43. Neil Rickert,

    Swamidass obviously did it as an personal attack. And there was no permission for this outing. Check again the rules: “without their permission”. Are you suggesting it wasn’t a personal attack? It was partnered with unrepentant diminutising of my name. You got an apology for his ‘misunderstanding’ of the rules at TSZ. He seems to not realise that outing people on the internet & doxxing them reveals a person’s wrathful character.

    Have fun at PS, Neil. Privileging natural science, and largely avoiding meaningful ‘religious’ talk entirely, is welcome as part of Swamidassian peaceful scientism. Notice, however, that your ‘explaining consciousness’ talk was totally ignored there, after Joshua pretended to be interested to hear your thoughts? That reminds me, I posted some notes on that here a few weeks back & didn’t ask for it to be published.

  44. Alan, to Mung:

    PS, Contributor status is not an insult and not intended to be.

    Oh, please. When you changed Mung’s role, you could have easily set it to “Author”. Instead, you deliberately demoted him to “Contributor”, out of spite:

    You will find your status amended to contributor pending discussions.

    And this was a mere eight minutes after he had restored me to “Author” status.

    A good moderator would have approached this calmly and asked Mung for an explanation. There was no emergency, and no need to act precipitously.

    That’s what a good moderator would have done. What did you do? You threw a tantrum, acted impulsively and childishly, invented a new rule, and created a huge moderation kerfuffle, and your actions drove away the only theist moderator at TSZ — a moderator whom Lizzie had gone out of her way to appoint.

    It was the same sort of impulsiveness and immaturity you displayed with ALurker and Patrick, and with me when you invented a new rule and banned me for 30 days for criticizing the moderators. And the list goes on.

    By any objective standard, Mung’s behavior as moderator has been far, far better than yours. If suspending fellow moderators were actually legitimate, then it is you who should have been at the top of the list, not Mung.

  45. keiths: A good moderator would have approached this calmly and asked Mung for an explanation.

    Alan did ask a bit later. (I still didn’t even realize while this conversation was going that my status had been changed, lol.):

    Alan Fox – March 7, 2019 9:11 pm
    Why didn’t you run this by me?

    Mung – March 7, 2019 9:19 pm
    I didn’t run it by anyone. We talked about trying to come to some consensus about how to handle things but as far as I know that discussion [moving everyone to Contributor/requiring consensus between all mods before changes] is still in limbo.

    When all members are moved to Contributor I’ll take a different stance but as things stand right now there seems to be no ruling guideline and I don’t see any reason to treat keiths differently from others who have contributor.

    Mung – March 7, 2019 9:23 pm
    I’m not going to get all bent out of shape if you and Neil and Jock get together and reverse it.

  46. Mung,

    Alan did ask a bit later.

    Only after he had already taken his reckless action in the midst of his tantrum.

    The guy simply cannot control his impulses, much to the detriment of TSZ. He’s a loose cannon.

  47. Alan:

    I agree Joshua broke our outing rule.

    That was another beautiful example of moderator hypocrisy.

    Lizzie was clear:

    No porn, malware or outing. Any of those results in banning.

    What did the moderators do? Nothing. Swamidass wasn’t banned, and the offending part of his comment wasn’t even redacted until six days later.

    So Swamidass commits a bannable offense, and nothing happens.

    On the other hand, Alan reverses his resignation, rushes in where’s he not needed, and bans me for 30 days — a power that the rules don’t grant to him — not because I’ve violated any rule, but because I dared to criticize the moderators.

    Censorship and an unprecedented 30-day ban, despite the fact that I had done nothing wrong by criticizing the moderators.

    Why the hypocrisy? It’s not hard to figure out. Alan has a personal grudge against me, but not against Swamidass, so he was willing to abuse his privileges where I was concerned, and to ignore Lizzie’s explicit words where Swamidass was concerned.

    And of course the Rubber Stamp Twins, Neil and Jock, didn’t step in, instead actively promoting and defending the abuses.

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